Search This Blog


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bug tracking software - FogBugz

After we decided that SharePoint is not meant for bug tracking, we began to search for a substitute. How exactly we came to FogBugz I don't know, because I didn't involve in the evaluation process. However, as an active user, there are quite a lot of things about FogBugz that could be talked about.

FogBugz was a product created by FogCreek, which in turn was started by Joel Spolsky and Michael Pryor. Joel maintains a popular blog that makes him a household name in the programmer world. He has a strong opinion in software development and not surprisingly, his philosophy influences heavily the FogBugz concept. For example, he insists on the minimal bug report input, because he believes that too many fields distract the attention and drive people away from actually using the application. He also wants a bug to be assigned to exactly one person, unlike Bugzilla where you can have multiple people working on the same problem, so that the problem can get solved. His reasoning is that if you have two or more people responsible for the same bug, then there is a high chance that they will kick the ball around instead of working towards a solution.

We found that this sort of opinionated software actually helped us a lot. Since FogBugz was so easy to use (compare to SharePoint, of course), and the response time was so fast, and since the concept behind it integrated seamlessly with our software development culture (minimum time on bug input etc), that everyone got hooked on it the moment they used it. Suddenly the bug data was no longer decentralized and fragmented, rather they were all centralized on a single place, and that's FogBugz database. It was so easy to navigate between a feature and the relevant bugs, it was so easy to keep track of the discussion that we could trace the evolution of specs and the trend of thoughts with ease. Within a week FogBugz became indispensable to us.

When we purchased FogBugz, we purchased the version 5. Having used FogBugz so extensively, there were several features that I want FogBugz to have. And this will be the topic for another day.

No comments: